1917 – A Visually Dazzling War Epic!

1917 is a 2019 epic war film directed, co-written and produced by Sam Mendes.

The film stars George MacKayDean-Charles ChapmanMark StrongAndrew ScottRichard Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch.

It is based in part on an account told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes, and chronicles the story of two young British soldiers during World War I who are given a mission to deliver a warning of an ambush during a skirmish, soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich in 1917.

The Oscar Season is in full swing; and we see the arrival of a War Drama

Mendes departs from the Bond Universe with this directorial venture

Adapting childhood stories as heard from his grandfather, he builds a narrative chronicling an episode from WWI

So, does it work? Let’s Find Out!

What Doesn’t Work?

  • The Character Arcs aren’t convincing enough
  • As the narrative proceeds, we do not see enough thought on why they react in a certain manner
  • There are some pivotal moments where the shift in their motivations is down right tacky
  • This causes a certain disconnect; we do not care what happens with them until the narrative technique pushes us to care for them
  • There is a key moment where the shift in motivation will distract you
  • It will also distract you for the next few minutes until the story propels ahead

Now; What Works?

  • This Movie is a Visual Delight
  • The statement above is not an exaggeration

Roger Deakins, take a bow!

  • Every frame is appeasing, attractive and astounding
  • The sequences smoothly segue into each other yet retain the narrative appeal
  • Complementing this visual style, the back ground score is haunting yet humane
  • Every now and then there is a thrust in the narrative keeping you riveted
  • The technique of long takes works astoundingly well for this tale
  • The horrors of war are just that: Horrific to witness
  • Mendes doesn’t throw them in our face
  • He just lets them creep up through scenes
  • This ruse is enough to disgust you about the futility of it all
  • The larger narrative ties in multiple emotions together
  • The climax leaves you with a resounding hope after all the horrors witnessed
  • When the camera comes to a halt in the last few minutes, you know what’s been lost and what remains
  • The most lovely aspect is the way the movie begins and ends
  • Brilliance Re-defined!

The Verdict?

  • 1917 definitely deserves a Theatrical Viewing for the technical accomplishments
  • This movie proves that The Era of Cinema Still Survives

P.S: Among its various accolades, the film has received 10 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards, including Best PictureBest Director and Best Original Screenplay.

At the 77th Golden Globe Awards the film won for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director

The accolades garnered above are proof of what Mendes and Team managed to accomplish

This piece of Cinema is simply unmissable; Go for It

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